2010 Preferred Oscar Nominations- Duncan

I know you must’ve seen the Oscar nominations and thought to yourself: But what do two random people in the Midwest think of all this?

If for no reason other than having opinions about it, these are the Oscar nominations I would’ve voted for, if I had a ballot. Will I nominate Drag Me To Hell for five Oscars like Dave did? (Spoiler Alert: No. Not that into horror.)

I did give myself the handicap of limiting the choices to only films that I’ve seen (except for original song, because that’s impossible; and animated feature, because I only saw three or so).

Visual Effects

District 9
Star Trek

Can’t disagree with the Academy here. Can I just say that while the visual flare of J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek was something I immensely enjoyed, I can’t help but feel that it’s the apple version of the ST universe? An “iStarTrek,” if you will. Am I crazy?

Sound Editing

District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek

The art of loud noises. It’s not a part of the IMAX/Ultrascreen experience that people mention as much as the visual components, but it’s integral all the same.


Sound Mixing

District 9
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek

While I respect Avatar in the previous category, for creating sound effects for things that don’t exist in real life, the overall mix of sound, score, and dialogue didn’t strike me as artful in any way. Witness the masterful use of tense silence suddenly ratcheted into chaos in both Locker and Basterds, or the raucous opening horns of Star Trek blasting us off into space. And Fox was the best at turning the soundtrack up and down at the right moments, something Wes Anderson films are always wont to do.

Best Make Up

District 9
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
The Road

Arguably the most surprising scene in District 9 is when a surprise alien prosthetic arm pops out of nowhere, as it were. How AMPAS ignored that for standard paleface period-piece business in The Young Victoria is beyond me.

Best Costume Design

The Brothers Bloom
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Inglourious Basterds
Public Enemies
Sherlock Holmes

What’s that? You didn’t see The Brothers Bloom and it’s archly complete visual flair? Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll mention it again at some point.

Best Art Direction

The Brothers Bloom
District 9
Inglourious Basterds
Sherlock Holmes
Where the Wild Things Are

This may be as good as place as any other to mention that as much as I wanted to like Where The Wild Things Are, it left me a little hollow, and my memory hasn’t treated it very well. Maybe I’ll watch it again, but I really don’t need to be reminded again that it’s confusing and sometimes depressing to be nine.

Best Song

Coraline- “Other Father Song”
Crazy Heart“The Weary Kind”
Simon & Malou- “No Time For Love”
That Evening Sun- “Depression Era”
Where the Wild Things Are“Hideaway”

Every time I see that “The Weary Kind” was co-written by someone named “Ryan Bingham,” I go “where do I know that name from?” before I remember it’s George Clooney’s character in Up In The Air. Anyway, good tune.

Also I scoured the list for some more obscure contenders: if we’re not worried about length, one of They Might Be Giants’ Johns had a fun thirty second ditty in Coraline, some foreign rom-com called Simon & Malou had a rocking (Enlgish) song by Maria Apetri, and forgotten Hal-Holbrook vehicle That Evening Sun had a song by the guy from Drive-By Truckers.

Finally, I much prefer Kareno O’s more somber “Hideaway” from Wild Things to “All Is Love,” but it might be because kids singing in high voices make me want to kick things for some reason.

Best Score

Nathan Johnson, The Brothers Bloom
Alexandre Desplat, Fantastic Mr. Fox
Clint Mansell, Moon
Hans Zimmer, Sherlock Holmes
Carter Burwell and Karen O, Where the Wild Things Are

Best Animated Feature

Fantastic Mr. Fox
Mary And Max

Ahem. From the official Oscar bylaws:

“An animated feature film is defined as a motion picture with a running time of at least 70 minutes, in which movement and characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique. In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s running time.”

Just saying.

Best Cinematography

The Brothers Bloom
District 9
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds

In order, for symmetry, shakiness, meltiness, immediacy, and conversational staidness.

Best Film Editing

The Brothers Bloom
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
In The Loop

Pacing is very, very important to comedies, and the dark tour de force In The Loop knew just what it was doing. Why no Avatar? Because it was about forty minutes too long, that’s why.

Best Adapted Screenplay

District 9
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Informant!
In the Loop
Up In The Air

Three real nominees, one near miss (Fox), and Scott Burns’ well-crafted farce from a non-fiction book.

Best Original Screenplay

Broken Embraces
The Brothers Bloom
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds

Some great original scripts this year, including the inventive sci-fi indie Moon and maybe my favorite from Almodovar so far.

Best Supporting Actress

Vera Farmiga- Up In The Air
Anna Kendrick- Up In The Air
Diane Krueger – Inglourious Basterds
Gina McKee- In The Loop
Blanco Portillo- Broken Embraces

Last Woman Out: Meryl Streep - Fantastic Mr. Fox

I felt it important to highlight the work of McKee and an Almodovar player not named “Penelope” here. But when will voice-acting (or motion capture) get its day, anyway?

Best Supporting Actor

Peter Capaldi – In the Loop
Anthony Mackie – The Hurt Locker
Mark Ruffalo- The Brothers Bloom
Karl Urban- Star Trek
Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds

Last Man Out: Jackie Earle Haley – Watchmen

A fun one to fill out this year- Ruffalo’s great in Bloom, no matter how stiff he seems to be in the trailer, I promise. Waltz is a force of nature, Urban stole every scene he was in in Star Trek, and Capaldi took In The Loop to a whole new level. And I keep thinking Mackie was nominated, then remembering he got overlooked for Matt Damon’s role in Invictus as a piece of wheat toast.

Best Actress

Penelope Cruz- Broken Embraces
Melanie Laurent- Inglourious Basterds
Alison Lohman – Drag Me to Hell
Leslie Mann- Funny People
Rachel Weisz- The Brothers Bloom

Last Woman Out: Julia Roberts- Duplicity

Laurent was submitted for leading, according to my sources (as in, “the internet”), so I’m putting her here. I suppose I’ll help “legitimize” horror by giving Lohman a nod for being game for anything. Funny People is something I think a lot more people would have like if they knew nothing about Judd Apatow, and Mann really holds the middle of it together.

Best Actor

George Clooney – Up in the Air
Sharlto Copley- District 9
Matt Damon – The Informant!
Jeremy Renner- The Hurt Locker
Sam Rockwell- Moon

Last Man Out: Robert Downey, Jr. – Sherlock Holmes

Lost amid the late-act splatters and explosions in District 9 is Copley’s affecting performance of a desperate man. Damon found his Oscar role, but it was unfortunately in a comedy. Renner and Clooney are justly deserving, and you didn’t think I could possibly not nominate Sam Rockwell, did you? He’s Sam Rockwell!

Best Director

Wes Anderson- Fantastic Mr. Fox
Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker
Neil Blomkamp – District 9
Rian Johnson – The Brothers Bloom
Quentin Tarantino – Inglourious Basterds

Last Man/Woman Out: Jason Reitman– Up In The Air

Yeah, that’s right. I think Rian Johnson did a better job directing The Brothers Bloom than Cameron did Avatar. I weighed the technical merits of both against other things like writing, acting, preponderance of thinly-veiled racism, and found myself with a clear victor.

Best Picture

Broken Embraces
The Brothers Bloom
District 9
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Hurt Locker
In The Loop
Inglourious Basterds
Sherlock Holmes
Star Trek
Up in the Air

Last Two Films Out: Up and Moon

Hey , AMPAS and I agree on four films, which is more than I expected.


Inglourious Basterds – 12
District 9 – 11
The Brothers Bloom – 10
The Hurt Locker – 9
Fantastic Mr. Fox – 6
Up in the Air – 5
Star Trek – 5
In The Loop – 5
Broken Embraces – 4
Sherlock Holmes – 4
Moon – 3
Avatar – 3
Where the Wild Things Are – 3
The Informant! – 2
Coraline – 2
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus – 2

1 Response to "2010 Preferred Oscar Nominations- Duncan"

  1. notemily says:

    Voice acting had its day when there were actual voice actors instead of famous people getting voice acting jobs to draw parents into the theater.

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